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Tom and Dot’s 50th wedding anniversary wall hanging made from a wedding ring block.It has been said that every love story ends in tragedy because at some point one half of a loving couple buries the other.

Such a love story came to an end when my Aunt Dot died suddenly following a brief illness.

Wife to Tom Burtch, mother to six children, fifteen grandchildren and three great-grands Dot was the epitome of the wife of noble character as described in Proverbs 31: 10-31.

It begins “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks for nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
For 60 years they were a loving couple who through thick and thin made their marriage work. They never missed an opportunity to say “I love you” with a look of love in their eyes.

The marriage begins at Redeemer Lutheran Church on Rudisill Avenue on July 17, 1954 and the ceremony is performed by the church’s minister and her father the Rev. Herbert E. Levihn. It makes me wonder if the Proverbs reading was also read at the wedding. It would seem so appropriate. Over the next ten years they were blessed with daughter Sue followed by sons Tom, John, Ed, Robert and Mike. As one can imagine handmade outfits are made by Dot and 4-Her Sue.

Ten years ago when Tom and Dot approached their 50th wedding anniversary I knew I wanted to make them something special. I had purchased 15 wedding ring blocks from a lady who lived on Bluffton Road. They were good sized and scrappy but not put together very well. Instead of trying to get them to fit, I decided to use them as wedding/anniversary samplers.

The work begins reworking the seams I embroider their names and the years of their marriage into the center patch then appliqué it to a piece of darker blue fabric. I quilt around the squares, elliptical shapes and the words leaving only the dark blue background incomplete. It didn’t take long to come to the conclusion that this circular symbol of love would not be complete without the names of their children. With six names to quilt they perfectly fill the background.

I last see Aunt Dot on August 23 at the funeral for Sue’s husband Dan Christman who lost his fight with cancer at the age of 59. We talk and she tells me the anniversary wall hanging hangs above their bed. When I hear of her sudden passing I couldn’t help but reflect on that conversation and the strength and endurance of the marriage of Tom and Dot Burtch: A triumphant love story for the ages.

Lois Levihn is the owner of Born Again Quilts Restoration Studio and Quilt Gallery, 4005 South Wayne Ave.

Do you have a quilt/textile story to share? Please contact Lois at bornagainquilts@frontier.com or 260-515-9446.

Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer